"MY WIFE HAS GONE CRAZY - one of the isolated upcoast lightkeepers in this astonishing book writes to his Victoria supervisor. "PLEASE SEND SOMEONE UP HERE AT ONCE."
It could be an incident from any one of many poignant stories which unfold as Don Graham, himself keeper of Vancouver's famous Point Atkinson Light, breaks the lighthouse fraternity's 150-year tradition of silence and exposes life as it really has been lived in and around those prim white-and-red light stations which have made British Columbia's otherwise forbidding coastline a safe place for ships.
Can you imagine wind strong enough to blow away a lightkeeper's cow? It happened at the ill-fated light on exposed Triangle Island, finally abandoned after the storms cost 25 lives. Here are shocking new revelations about the supposed Japanese bombardment of Estevan Light, a pivotal event in Canada's WWII history; a front row view of the most notorious wrecks along Vancouver Island's "Pacific Graveyard"; stories of absurd and fatal government bungling; stories of suicide, murder, mysterious disappearance, heroism, starvation and occasionally, happiness.
Keepers of the Light is the definitive book on coast lightkeeping maritime history buffs have been waiting for, the result of 40 years' research by Capt. L. Cadieux, founder of the Maritime Museum of Victoria. A further ten years research and writing was dedicated by lightkeeper Graham, a former University history lecturer who had editorial help from both Farley Mowat and Silver Donald Cameron in making this one of the most gripping sagas ever to be written about the west coast.
With spectacular full-colour covers painted by the celebrated lighthouse artist Buzz Walker and 200 drawings, photos, maps and plans in an attractive pictorial format, Keepers of the Light is as handsome as it is exciting to read.